MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, October 19 (PIA) — Bukidnon teacher shooting victim Zhydee Cabañelez strongly denied that she has links with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list which could have caused the shooting incident inside her classroom last Tuesday, October 15. 

In an interview, Zhydee said they were once invited by ACT to attend a forum in Valencia City in 2016 but they were not informed that their attendance would constitute membership with ACT.

“That was the only occasion that I had a glimpse with the ACT group—and that was three years ago. Definitely, I am not an ACT member,” she said.

The shooting Tuesday morning of a husband and wife teachers during classes by four gunmen at the Dalit Elementary School, Lumbayao, Valencia City was unprecedented here, observers said.

Media reports said that Zhydee Cabañelez and husband Ramel were with her pupils in her classroom when the four men barged in at about eight o’clock in the morning and shot her. Ramil escaped unhurt.

In the commotion that followed, the motorcycle-riding gunmen fled the scene.

The blooded Zhydee with gunshot wounds believed to be that of a caliber .45 pistol, seriously injured her. 

Zhydee was taken to a hospital in Valencia City by folks. She is recuperating at press time as Valencia City police chief Surki Sereñas provides her security at the hospital.

Schools division superintendent of Valencia Dr. Victoria Gazo suspended the October 17 and 18 second periodical test slated in said school and conducted stress debriefing to pupils, parents, and teachers a day after the incident.  

Gazo said the Department of Education (DepEd) Northern Mindanao gave P37,000 cash assistance, while DepEd central office allotted P100,000 financial aid. The local government of Valencia also committed to shoulder part of the hospital’s surgical bill.

As this developed, media here have unconfirmed reports saying that the father of Zhydee was with the New People’s Army (NPA) years ago but turned himself to the government already. 

The father’s past connection with the rebels bolsters public suggestion that the said school shooting incident could have been done by the NPA. (RLRB, PIA Bukidnon)